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What is Pre-trial Diversion?

Pre-Trial Diversion is a program offered at the discretion of the prosecutor. In Indiana it is generally known as Pre-Trial Diversion. However, it is known by a variety of names, such as Pre-Trial Intervention, Withheld Adjudication, Deferred Prosecution, or Deferred Judgment. Generally speaking, a few misdemeanor charges that might qualify for Pre-Trial Diversion are: Battery, Check Deception, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Conversion,  Criminal Trespass, Domestic Violence, Driving While Suspended, Invasion of Privacy, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Minor Consumption, Operator Never Licensed, Possession of Marijuana, and Reckless Driving.

Who is eligible for Pre-trial Diversion?

Pre-Trial Diversion is generally offered to individuals without significant criminal records or histories who have been charged with certain criminal offenses like the misdemeanors mentioned above. Individuals with significant criminal records will probably not qualify for Pre-Trial Diversion. And individuals charged with serious offenses like higher level felonies probably won’t qualify for Pre-Trial Diversion either. Some higher level felonies that would not be eligible for Pre-Trial Diversion are Burglary, Dealing Cocaine, Dealing Marijuana, Dealing Methamphetamine, Domestic Violence, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Receiving Stolen Property.

What are the requirements of Pre-Trial Diversion?

Generally, an individual must pay court, clerk, program fees, and meet additional requirements. For example, depending on the underlying criminal offense, an individual might be required to complete a drug and alcohol class, a substance abuse evaluation, a domestic violence class, an anger management class, perform community service, or pay restitution to a victim.

How much does Pre-Trial Diversion cost?

The costs and fees associated with Pre-Trial Diversion vary from county to county; however, the cost and fees of Pre-Trial Diversion are generally between $350 and $450.

When do I sign up for Pre-Trial Diversion?

In Indiana, a person generally enters a plea of not guilty at their Initial Hearing, and then signs up for the program at a later date. The individual’s case is then put on hold for a certain amount of time until the individual completes all of the requirement of Pre-Trial Diversion.

Where do I sign up for Pre-Trial Diversion?

In Indiana, a person generally signs up for the Pre-Trial Diversion program at the prosecutor’s office; however, sometimes the clerk’s office or court staff have all of the necessary paperwork an individual needs to sign up for the Pre-Trial Diversion program.

Will Pre-Trial Diversion keep a criminal charge or offense off of my record?

Generally speaking, “no.” Pre-Trial Diversion keeps a criminal conviction off of a Defendant’s criminal record. However, if an individual successfully completes Pre-Trial Diversion, the court record will show that the charge was dismissed; and therefore, no criminal conviction will appear on the defendant’s record.

How does Pre-Trial Diversion benefit an individual?

When an individual is asked if he or she has ever been convicted of or plead guilty to a criminal offense, a defendant may answer “no” with regard to the criminal charge if he or she successfully completes Pre-Trial Diversion. However, a record that an arrest occurred and the charge that was filed in court will not be expunged from an individual’s arrest record.

What happens if I fail to complete or violate the terms of Pre-Trial Diversion?

If an individual violates the terms of Pre-Trial Diversion during the time his or her case is put on hold, he or she will be brought back to court, removed from Pre-Trial Diversion, and the case will start over.